A Blue So Dark
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura's dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for...more
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”Sanity is a sonnet with a strict meter and rhyme scheme – and my mind is free verse.”The relationship between mental illness and creativity is a subject I find both intriguing and provocative. I think I’ve long been fascinated with the idea of a type of symbiosis existing between them. After all, the concept of the tortured artist has become something of a stock image in our society, and not entirely without basis (see: The Sylvia Plath Effect, for example). It’s a fraught, complicated topic, ...more
This is one of the most impressively written debut novels I've read this year. (And that's saying a lot because I've read a lot of them!) But it wasn't just the writing that was so striking... the characterization, the story... everything! It was... WOW.
Aura's story is definitely one that will stay with you. To watch her struggle so intimately... ...more
"Schizophrenics have abnormalities of left or right brain functioning. The left brain )the center of logic seems to be most affected. Which means the right side, the creative side, takes over. And that's why a schizophrenic is like a child playing dress-up, afraid of monsters, living in a world of make-believe."
This book moved me. I'm talking "picked-me-up-and-hurtled-me-across-the-room" moved me. I may very well be biased, as I am studying to be a psychiatric nurse. Mental illness i ...more
On the surface, the idea that Aura is sole caretaker of her schizophrenic mother sounds a little farfetched. But Schindler has built a very plausible scenario: Aura's father is no help, because he's checked out of her life. Aura's mother is estranged from her family. Aura's teachers d ...more
Now for the story. Aura Ambrose has been caring for her schizophrenic mother ever since her father left them a few years ago. The story begins with her re ...more
My expectations for this book were really, unfairly high. I stumbled across in on Goodreads while at work, started to read it as soon as I got home that day and it just wasn't magic for me. I've had this story in my head for a while now, about a young girl living the southern states and her mother is diagnosed with schizophrenia so when I read this summary, it was like I ...more
Aura has been taking care of her schizophrenic mother as she descends gradually into insanity since her father got fed up and left several years ago. Her mother eventually loses her job teaching art classes at the museum and soon thereafter, becomes completely catatonic, and Aura needs to figure out how to help her.
All the while, however, Aura is stifling her own creative abilities because her mother has shown her that art leads to insanit ...more
To say ‘I loved A Blue So Dark’ would certainly be an understatement! Holly Schindler did a swell job on the book. From providing knowledge about schizophrenia to rooting the reader’s interest in the book from the very first page,Holly has been impeccable! From the synopsis itself,I was aware that A Blue So Dark is a different kind of book-a kind of book I am not used to reading ...more
Plot: Aura's mother is schizophrenic and she decides to take it upon herself to deal with it. Her father is hands off, never broaching the topic because he is busy having his own new family. Aura doesn't go to anyone, afraid of losing her mother completely. In other words, she ends up having to deal with her mother as if she was the child - not vice versa.
Characters: I feel l ...more
I didn't really know what to expect when I opened this book. What I got was a incredibly engaging story about mental illness. No one wants to talk about these things. Not really. Most of us avoid mental illness like it's the plague. But what if you were like Aura? What if your own mother were the definition of mental illness? There's no avoiding that.
This story was terrifying! I felt all the emotions of the book right along side Aura. It was like a train wreck that you knew was going to happen. ...more
In her debut novel, Holly Schindler does a beautiful job portraying Aura's mother's illness, the isolation Aura ...more
Aura is a girl who has had to grow up very fast - she is merely fifteen soon to be sixteen, and it has been three years since her father gave up on her and her m ...more
This was supposed to be one of those emotional reads, like The Sea of Tranquility or Hopeless, it was meant to be heavy like Drowning Instinct. The protagonist was dealing with some serious shit, but it fell short, so short in fact that I was mostly irritated with Aura than anything else and I was immeasurably unhappy with the final chapter. It was false and unrealistic.
Does Schindler know anyone with this debilitating mental illness? Because you don’t go from catatonic ...more
I'm glad I did. The book wasn't exactly a page turner compared to a lot of the things I've been reading lately, but it did hold my attention. It well written, ...more
But ... what killed it for me was something stup ...more
Probably from page 100 onwards, I started to get a vibe that perhaps A Blue So Dark wasn't so bad after all. I would have given up on it, if I hadn't felt obligated to finish, and write a review on it; but I'm glad I stuck to it and got to the end, because if I hadn't, I would have missed out on something truly special.
One aspect I really liked was the characters. Aura is vulnerable, but puts on a brave front and she had a good voice all through to the ...more
I have never read a book about schizophrenia before, but Holly Schindler writes these heartbreaking scenes between Aura and her mother with a conviction that thus carries into the reader, absorbing us until we, like Aura, cannot escape from the horror. This writ ...more
Aura was a likable character. Sometimes though, I did want to shake her; however, given the circumstances I can understand why she acted the ...more
3.5-4 stars. I didn't give it a solid 4 or 5 stars due to some little nagging issues I had, but ugh... my emotions right now... Longer review to come.